A view of the Big Data revolution from outside the tech world | #DataStorage

Will Alexander - Nimble Storage 2016

Tech business is built on the power of data, but not every company is in the tech business. Most just use tech and networking to run the infrastructure that handles whatever they really do for a living. That said, even non-tech companies are discovering the power of data as they upgrade old systems to be faster and more agile.

To shed some light on how companies outside the tech world are seeing the Big Data revolution, Jeff Frick and Stu Miniman, cohosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, spoke to Will Alexander, VP of information systems at RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc., during the Nimble Storage: The Power of Predictive Analytics event in San Francisco. Will Alexander is the Vice President of Information Systems at RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc.

The role of IT

The conversation started with a look at the role of IT in the petroleum business. Alexander explained that the company operates on high volume and slim margins, as does its customers. Anything that can save a penny per gallon, for example, is valuable. He said he saw the company’s role as an enabler, both for the company and the customers, as any advantage it can give has a huge impact.  

The size of its IT team has also changed, Alexander said. RaceTrac has 700 locations, supported by 100 IT people in all areas. Over the past five years, the IT department has doubled in size as the company came to understand the role of IT for a successful business.

Discovering the power of data storage

Security is important to everyone, but especially a retail business, Alexander said. Recently, RaceTrac upgraded its security applications, and with that, its infrastructure. This brought Nimble Storage’s data solutions in the house. The Nimble technology cleared up several performance issues the company had with a custom app, and suddenly everyone wanted to run their workload on Nimble.

“It’s the ease of use for us,” Alexander said. Anything it can automate and predict the results for is good for the business. He mentioned the InfoSight app that allows them to see a potential bottleneck before it hits. That visibility, he said, gives a lot of value.

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of Nimble Storage: The Power of Predictive Analytics event.

Photo by SiliconANGLE